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The Reginald F. Lewis Museum Recognizes African Americans in Health Care

Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, scientific lead, Coronavirus Vaccines and Immunologist, National Institutes of Health, shares her insights on the COVID-19 vaccine’s development with Dr. Freeman Harbowski III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County during the 2nd Annual African Americans in Health Care Awards, hosted by Kaiser Permanente and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.

During the last week of Black History Month, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture partnered with Kaiser Permanente to host the 2nd Annual African Americans in Health Care Awards.

The free, virtual event recognized the important contributions of African American health and community leaders to the pandemic response and provided information about the COVID vaccines.

“Black History Month provides a timely opportunity to recognize African Americans who are models of leadership and success in our community. We are especially thrilled to honor African American health care professionals who have been so critical to fighting this pandemic,” said Ruth Williams-Brinkley, regional president of Kaiser Permanente. “The challenges confronting our communities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic are unprecedented. We are honored to celebrate those who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to alleviate the burden on communities, and further, to educate our community about the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine.”

Among those to be honored were Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist at the National Institutes of Health. She was also featured in a keynote discussion, moderated by Dr. Freeman Harbowski III, president of University of Maryland Baltimore County, focusing on the development of the COVID-19 vaccine, her role as one of the lead scientists, and the importance of the vaccine to greater Baltimore. She specifically addressed vaccine-related concerns that have been raised in the African American community and discussed vaccine protocol, efficacy, and what the public needs to know about widespread community vaccination.

Other awardees are:

  • Letitia Dzirasa, Baltimore City Health Commissioner
  • Annette March-Grier, Executive Director of Roberta’s House, and
  • Stephen B. Thomas, Director of Maryland Center for Health Equity

“There has never been a more important time for African Americans to be leaders in healthcare,” said Terr Lee Freeman, Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture. “We’re proud to partner with Kaiser Permanente to recognize the incredible contributions of African American leaders have made in the fight against COVID-19, and to address the hesitancy in our community surrounding the COVID vaccine.”

Watch the full recording or the 41-minute version here.



About the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum is Maryland’s largest museum dedicated to the State’s African American experience. A Smithsonian affiliate, the museum engages visitors through its permanent and special exhibitions, community events, and family programming. The museum is celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2020.


About the Center for Total Health

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